Those Dogs Who Served
During World War II many dogs served the United Stated Military.
Dogs became soldiers after the Pearl Harbor attack which occurred in 1942. The United States Military bonded together with the American Kennel Club to establish what was called “Dogs for Defense.” The American Kennel
club then set out to recruit dog owners to donate quality canines to the United States Military. The Quartermaster Corps were given the responsibility for food, supplies, and materials management. Shortly after the US Military had bonded with the AKC, the Quartermaster Corps began to train dogs and turn them into soldiers.
Training took approximately 12 weeks. At first 300 breeds of dogs were accepted into the program, but then everything was narrowed down to German Shepherd Dogs, Belgian Sheepdogs, Doberman Pinschers, Farm Collies and Giant Schnauzers. 19,000 dogs were screened for the program between the years 1942 and 1945, and of all that were screened 45% were rejected.
Training began with basic obedience and then continued on to training with gas masks, muzzles, military vehicles, and gunfire. After all of this basic training was complete, each dog went on to be trained for specific duties.
Dogs Were Trained to Hold These Duties:
Sentry Dogs: These dogs walked on short leashes and warned their handlers by growling or barking. They were always put on patrol with their handlers.
Messenger Dogs: It was crucial that these dogs had extreme loyalty, because they were required to carry messages back and forth between their two handlers anonymously.
Mine Dogs: These dogs saved hundreds of lives. They were trained to find trip wires and ground mines. Without the help of these dogs many could have lost their lives or limbs.
Scout or Patrol dogs: These dogs did the duties of the sentry dog but they were trained to work silently. They detected snipers or ambushes from the enemy. These canine soldiers saved the lives of many of their handlers.
More dogs were trained as sentry dogs.
Dogs Who Serve In Modern Times:
Dogs still serve as soldiers in the US Military. Many dogs are trained continually in aggression training and are used to chase down enemies.You’ll see in the second picture down that there is a dog being trained in aggression training.
Dogs though today are more rarely used in front line formation, although their positions and duties in warfare still vary as much as they did during World War II. Most dogs used in any type of defense situation are usually used as police dogs in K9 units, etc. Of course the most commonly used dog to fill these duties is the German Shepherd because of their obedience.
As a partner in everyday military police work, dogs have proved versatile and loyal officers. Police dogs can chase suspects, track them if they are hidden, and guard them when they are caught. They are trained to respond viciously if their handler is attacked, and otherwise not to react at all unless they are commanded to do so by their handler. Many police dogs are also trained in detection as well.
Military Working dogs continue to serve as sentries, trackers, search and rescue, scouts, and mascots. Retired working dogs are often adopted as pets or therapy dogs.
I think its truly amazing what every one of these dogs have accomplished.